Solar energy to become mandatory

The western German city of Marburg is the first city in German to make solar panels mandatory for almost all rooves, possibly by this summer. The new law will require a solar panel for every new building and every old building that is being renovated, said Marburg’s mayor and Green Party member Franz Kahle on Thursday at a drafting session of the new law.

The property owners will have to bear the cost of the panels. The panels usually cost between €6,000 and €10,000.

“With today’s oil prices, the costs of this investment will balance in 10 to15 years,” Kahle told ARD. Kahle said that 15 to 40 percent of energy needed for warm water and heating could be sourced through solar energy.

Certain neighbourhoods and districts have made solar panels mandatory, but this is the first time an entire city has enacted such a law. Moreover, it is the first time that this type of regulation reaches beyond the scope of new buildings. Exceptions to this rule include buildings under protection for historical reasons or buildings whose rooves are in the shade, in these cases the owners can install alternative forms of non-fossil fuel energy.

“No solar panels will go on the rooves of the Landgrafen Castle, the Elisabeth Church or the city hall, since we don’t want to disfigure the old city,” Kahle told the broadcaster ARD.